SPORTS AGENDA: Wigan players are paid late for the second consecutive month

When he’s not hosting impromptu and showy Q&A sessions on Twitter and slamming journalists for highlighting the ridiculous decision to award the World Cup to Qatar, Wigan Athletic owner Talal Al Hammad could want to pay the salaries of his players.

Agenda was informed that salaries had been paid late last month by the Bahraini businessman, with the ‘Queen’s Jubilee’ being responsible for the delay.

This month they were late again, with ‘problems with foreign banks’ cited, amid a promise that monies due on Friday will arrive on Monday.

Wigan players were paid late by owner Talal Al Hammad for the second consecutive month

On Saturday, general manager Mal Brannigan asked Agenda if there was anything we could do to prevent the story from coming out. On Sunday night, a club-sponsored version of events with sweet quotes from Brannigan on the matter appeared on the local newspaper’s website claiming the club’s financial health was “solid and stable”.

It’s a worrying development that comes on the heels of a summer in which the Latics failed to add new bodies to their squad on their return to the Championship.

Alarm bells are ringing again at DW Stadium with known players and staff considering their future. Chief Financial Officer Richard Bramwell also left the board.

The club add that they signed a significant number of players last season and did not expect to be active during the summer window. One to watch.

When he’s not hosting impromptu and showy Q&A sessions on Twitter and slamming journalists for highlighting the ridiculous decision to award the World Cup to Qatar, Wigan Athletic owner Talal Al Hammad could want to pay the salaries of his players.

DW Stadium players and staff are known to view their future accordingly

DW Stadium players and staff are known to view their future accordingly

Agenda was informed that salaries had been paid late last month by the Bahraini businessman, with the ‘Queen’s Jubilee’ being responsible for the delay. This month they were late again, with ‘problems with foreign banks’ cited, amid a promise that monies due on Friday will arrive on Monday.

On Saturday, GM Mal Brannigan asked Agenda if there was anything we could do to keep the story from getting out. On Sunday night, a club-sponsored version of events with sweet quotes from Brannigan on the matter appeared on the local newspaper’s website claiming the club’s financial health was “solid and stable”.

It’s an extremely worrying development that comes on the heels of a summer in which the Latics failed to add new bodies to their squad on their return to the Championship.

Alarm bells are ringing again at DW Stadium with known players and staff considering their future and the news will not be welcomed by a recently scarred fan base.

Chief Financial Officer Richard Bramwell also left the board.

For what it’s worth, the club add that they signed a significant number of players last season and didn’t expect to be active in the summer window. One to watch.

GUHA IMPRESSES BEEB BOSS

This column reported last week how BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller emailed staff ahead of Wimbledon, begging them not to confuse their ‘matches’ with their ‘games’.

But presenter Isa Guha did just that on day one – before correcting herself. It was a rare misstep from the former England cricketer, who impressed Beeb bosses in week one with her polished performance and smooth transition from Special test match.

Guha, 37, is known to have admirers at Sky and could become a mainstay of BBC sports coverage, if the broadcaster knows what’s good for him.

She will host the daily highlights package on BBC One for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

BBC presenter Isa Guha made a smooth transition from Test Match Special to Wimbledon

BBC presenter Isa Guha smoothly transitioned from Special test match at Wimbledon

BOOZE BONANZA AFTER WIFI DROP

Confusion reigned at Wimbledon for the first two days when WiFi issues led to a problem with the cash desks.

This meant punters were unable to pay for drinks, meaning booze was free in both the media bar above the press center and on Court 1.

The staff took the names of those who ordered drinks with a view to charging them after the tournament. Good luck with that.

Punters were unable to pay for drinks on the first two days of Wimbledon due to WiFi issues

Punters were unable to pay for drinks on the first two days of Wimbledon due to WiFi issues

TSURENKO’S RAGE OVER THE UKRAINE WAR

A deeply unpleasant moment during the press conference following the exit of Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko when a Serbian journalist saw fit to inform her that the Serbs liked the Russians and had not sanctioned the country. Tsurenko was furious.

“How can you sustain a war? she asked the moron. “Russians are happy when Ukrainians die. They are idiots.’

Ukrainian star Lesia Tsurenko described Russians as

Ukrainian star Lesia Tsurenko has described Russians as ‘idiots’ amid their invasion of her country

RED BULL WITH RED FACE

Red Bull officials were in no doubt that they were in enemy territory at a Silverstone fan event on Thursday.

Crews in Red Bull gear tossed free t-shirts into the crowd but were met with loud boos and chants of “Lewis, Lewis…” Not the wisest PR move.

Indeed, the departure of much-loved communications chief Jamie Fox already seems to have had a negative impact.

Boss Christian Horner stood red-faced at the press kit when he burst into the team principals’ press conference five minutes late, only to see the stage occupied by his Mercedes, McLaren and Haas counterparts.

As Horner’s marketing director – who took over communications duties – panicked after realizing his boss was in the wrong place, FIA officials stepped in to point out Horner should have been in the bullpen media – for which it was even later.

Christian Horner was red-faced as he showed up in the wrong place for his pre-race media duties

Christian Horner was red-faced as he showed up in the wrong place for his pre-race media duties

ANOTHER KIT SHORTAGE IN ENGLAND

The England men’s team’s push to last year’s Euro finals saw huge demand for the shirts, leading to stock-outs in stores.

Unfortunately, it seems that the lessons have not been learned.

Nike released the new kit last month and fans are already complaining that the shirts – up to £99.95 a piece – are becoming harder to find four months before the Cup kicks off of the world in Qatar.

CONCERN OVER LACK OF EUROS PROMOTION

Much has been said about the possibility of promoting women’s football via the Euros, which begins when England play Austria on Wednesday.

However, insiders fear that once again luck will beggar. There was a noticeable lack of promotion from sponsors prior to this, with few promotional events or player access being organised.

The FA, which proactively seeks publicity and assists with interview and PR requests, can be tearing their hair out.

UEFA also does not cover itself with much glory.

Journalists seeking to cover key matches – which have not sold out – are having nightmares trying to secure access, with the BBC among those being told in no uncertain terms there is no place in the press gallery, despite the prospect that the games in question are taking place in front of many empty seats.

Insiders fear the opportunity will come begging to promote women's football until Euro 2022

Insiders fear the opportunity will come begging to promote women’s football until Euro 2022

BBC STAFF FURIOUS OVER GOLF COINS

BBC executives have infuriated many of their sports teams by omitting two of Radio 5 Live’s most senior commentators from their coverage of the 150th Open at St Andrews next week due to their continued obsession with celebrities.

Olympic curling gold medalist Eve Muirhead has been added to the team led by golf guru Iain Carter – in preference to rugby correspondent Chris Jones and golf pundit James Gregg, who regularly comments on the PGA Tour for Eurosport .

Jones is having a quiet summer as 5 Live bizarrely chose not to send a team commentary on England’s three-test tour of Australia. The BBC justified Muirhead on the grounds that he needed a Scottish voice on his team.

Olympic gold medalist Eve Muirhead has been added to the Radio 5 Live team for the Open

Olympic gold medalist Eve Muirhead has been added to the Radio 5 Live team for the Open

THE STONE SILENCE OF LAVANDER TOAST

Eton’s last game against Harrow at Lord’s on Tuesday brought around £200,000 to MCC, whose attempts at a PR offensive failed.

Henry Blofeld didn’t show up for a drink in the committee room – he would have been indisposed – and the committee was flayed by another guest, Robert Titchener-Barrett, who wrote the definitive story of the game.

In the end, Guy Lavender threw a party for 200 people (the crowd was 4,100, way bigger than a league game) and, when he raised his glass to the game’s history, after saying that he would have no future at Lord’s, he was met with a stony silence.

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